December 13, 2007

The Origins of Alvin And The Chipmunks

The big screen live-action version of 'Alvin And The Chipmunks' is currently playing in theaters worldwide. Alvin, Theodore and Simon has been our favourite chipmunks for the last 50 years, but do you know how they came about?

In 1958, Ross Bagdasarian Sr. was down to his last $200. So he spent $190 to buy a tape recorder and experimented with children's songs and piano tracks slowed to half speed. He wrote and performed his first song 'The Witch Doctor' which he convinced his record company, Liberty Records, to release. The song quickly went to Number One, selling more than a million records.

A few months later, Ross wrote a Christmas song. He loved the voice of the Witch Doctor, but wanted to marry that voice with personalities. One day while he was driving, a tiny chipmunk dashed in front of his car, and Ross knew he had found his star.

His Christmas song became 'The Chipmunk Song'. He named the three chipmunks after the executives at Liberty - Al Bennet (Alvin), Si Waronker (Simon) and Ted Keep (Theodore). The trio is 'managed' by their human 'father' and confidant, David Seville, a stage name created by Ross.

The record was sold more than 4 million copies in seven weeks, and it launched the careers of the chipmunks. It spent four weeks at Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart from December 27, 1958 to January 19, 1959. It also earned three Grammy Awards and a nomination for Record of the Year.

The rest, like they say, is history.

Matthew Gray Gubler as the voice of Simon

Justin Long as the voice of Alvin

Jesse McCartney as the voice of Theodore

Today, Ross' son, Ross Junior continues to run the Chipmunk empire with his wife.

In the new movie, Jason Lee ('My Name Is Earl') stars as David Seville, a struggling Los Angeles songwriter who discovers the singing chipmunks in his apartment. David adopts the chipmunks, taking care of them as father and manager of their famous rock band.


twosuperheroes said...

we love chipmunks.. hahaha :D

Supergirlfriend said...

Theodore is sooooooo cute! Just makes me feel like pinching those chubby cheeks! :p

Shay said...

great movie.. i love it.. my fav chipmunk is theodore

btw can u add my blog malaysiamoviereview to your block...